Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the squad characters, and the plot.

FYI: Sorry about the long wait guys, I just ran out of steam for a bit. Anyhow, hope you like this latest chapter!

Chapter 5 – Contact

"John, get over here now!" I yelled. As I looked inside the hatchway, movement caught my eye. A dark shadow moving toward the light was visible. "Holy shit," I thought, "what the hell is that?" A second later, John pounded around the edge of the Pod, and came to a halt beside me.

"What is it Sarge?"

I levelled my Assault Rifle at the dark opening, sighting down the scope. "What the hell do you think that is?" I said, indicating with the barrel of my gun. John turned to face the hatchway, bringing his rifle up at the same time.

"What do I think what…Holy Shit!"

"What is it Sarge?" came Michaels tinny voice over the headset.

"I have no idea, but we're gonna find out real soon." The shadow had almost reached the hatchway; if it was hostile, it was going to have a very bad day.


"What the hell!" exclaimed John, glancing at me and back to the hatchway. "What was that?"

"Please…Please help me…" The shadow reached the opening, and out fell a broken man in a torn, burnt and bloodied uniform, but undoubtedly the uniform of an Advance Recon Unit (ARU).

"What the hell?" I yelled, lowering my rifle and stepping forward to help the soldier, "What happened to you? John, get the med kit."

"Got it Sarge," said John, and hurried off to the Warthog.

"Attacked…me and my squad…out on recon…HALO ALPHA…Shit…ambushed…"

"Hurry up with that kit! What's your name son?"

"Ben…Ben King…"

"Don't worry Ben; we'll have you fixed up in no time."

"Time…cough…no time…" suddenly, a strong hand griped the front of my armour, and Ben looked into my eyes, panic stricken. "The capsule…did you get cough, cough…the capsule…? cough, cough, groan"

"Don't worry, we got it." The hand released me.

"Don't let them cough, cough, wheeze"…get into space… again… danger…universe… in… danger…cough, wheeze, cough, cough…capsule…data…read it cough…universe in danger…cough, cough…danger…"

As the poor man's life ebbed away, and John pelted back around the Pod, I felt something that I had not in a long time…Fear. "Don't worry son," I whispered, "we'll read it."

"What is it Sarge?" said John.

"He's gone," I said, eyes downcast, "but we've got to find out why. Help me take him to the 'Hog, we'll give him a proper burial, and then we've got some answers to find."

After setting up some auto guns and sensors around the Pod, and burying the ARU soldier, I assembled my team in the bunker and Gary activated the data capsule's Holo projector.

Galactic Infantry Carrier Frontline – Time to arrival: 30 minutes

"This is the Carrier Frontline; we are enroot to HALO ALPHA to meet with AR unit 13. Requesting passage through sector Four-Zero-Alpha blockade."

"Permission granted Frontline, estimated time to arrival at HALO ALPHA, thirty minutes, Godspeed.

Galactic Infantry Carrier Frontline – Time to arrival: 10 minutes

"Hailing Carrier Frontline, I repeat, hailing Carrier Frontline, this is AR unit 13. Abort mission, I repeat, abort mission. We have located an Orbital Cannon on the surface of HALO ALPHA, and it is locked onto your drive signature. Message repeats…"

"Incoming fire!"…

Galactic Infantry Carrier Frontline – Status: Crashed

"AR unit 13, this is the Frontline, we have crash landed on the surface of HALO ALPHA, repeat, we have crash landed on HALO ALPHA, request assistance."

"Frontline, this is AR unit 13, estimated time to rendezvous, 10 minutes."

"AR unit 13, this is Frontline, message received, we'll be awaiting your arrival."

Galactic Infantry Carrier Frontline – Status: Compromised

(Machine gun fire, screams and explosions in background) "Mayday, Mayday, this is the Galactic Infantry Carrier Frontline, we have crash landed on HALO ALPHA and are under heavy attack. Enemy is not the Covenant, I repeat, enemy is not the Covenant. Some kind of alien species, they are killing and taking those of us left after the crash, and mutating them into hideous monsters. We cannot last much longer. AR unit 13 that was stationed here has been wiped out, and there are not many of us left. If anyone can here me, destroy HALO ALPHA, I repeat, destroy HALO ALPHA (Scream in background)

Personal Data Link – Ben King, Status: Connected with Frontline data capsule

"Holy Shit, we were just ambushed by the freakiest little monsters I have ever seen. They just wiped my squad out without even stopping, except to attach themselves to the dead. I'm going to need some serious therapy if I ever get out of here alive, watching one of your dead best mates mutate into one of those freaky things is something I'm not going to forget soon. I've got to get off this place. I saw a hanger near the Cannon earlier; I'll head over there now. This is some freaky shit."

Personal Data Link – Ben King, Status: Connected with Frontline data capsule

"Aw shit…now I'm stuck on a transport being flown by those freaky little monsters, they must've learnt how to use the controls, then again, the frigging navigation systems are already set, all they had to do was press go… still, better than being on the bloody ring. I could probably retake control of the ship if I wanted…

Transport Ship Hercules – Time to HALO Echo: 10 minutes

Personal Data Link – Ben King, Status: Connected with Frontline data capsule

(Explosion) "Take that you mother fers! (Gunfire) Shit! You pay for that (long burst of gunfire) yeah! I got the ship now!"

Warning, guidance system non responsive, estimated time to crash, 10 minutes. Recommend evacuation of transport immediately. Repeat, guidance…

"Well that's great, I've got a busted shoulder and now I've got a busted ship. I suppose I'd better find an evacuation pod. Bloody covenant ships, flying junk if you ask me."

Evacuation Pod 13 – Occupants: 1, Time to landing: 1 minute

Personal Data Link – Ben King, Status: Connected with Frontline data capsule

"At least those freaky little beasts are going to burn…" All Pods launched and clear, estimated time to landing: 1 minute. Warning: Landing functions non responsive, crash is imminent. "…Why me? Why can't it be some other poor soul? Why'd it have to be me? Here we go again…"

Crash projected in 5…





The holoprojector stopped. "Sarge?" said John, "I think our holiday just went to hell."

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